Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | November 8, 2009

India Reflections

Bhubaneswar, Orissa en route to New Delhi

This has been a whirlwind trip to India. Doyle Lowry, Kingsland’s Executive Pastor, and I will have traveled over twenty-thousand miles on three different airlines by the time we return to Houston on Monday. I always enjoy traveling in India and love its people. This trip has met and exceeded my expectations as we have engaged in initiatives concerning justice, kindness, and walking humbly with God (read my post entitled A Micah 6:8 Trip). The following interview will give you a glimpse through Doyle’s eyes of what we have experienced over the past several days.

Omar | Doyle, one of the objectives of our trip was to meet with friends who rescue women and young girls from sex trafficking. We came with the hope and intention of providing funding for the safe house where these young women are taken in order to make a new start. What are your impressions of our meeting and our commitment to support this safe house?

Doyle | I was very impressed with the organization and its representatives. These people are committed believers with a passion for providing protection and opportunities for a new life for these young girls and women. I was especially moved when one of the representatives began to weep at the prospect of Kingsland’s willingness to step in and provide financial support. They had been earnestly praying for God to provide for this need. This ministry opportunity offers Kingsland an avenue to make a difference in the lives of these young women.

Omar | While passing through Kolkata, we spent a couple of days serving at two of Mother Teresa’s homes for the destitute and dying. What was the most difficult or challenging thing for you as we cared for men who are dying?

Doyle in KolkataDoyle | To be completely honest, prior to arriving at these homes I had some reservations and questioned if I could handle some of the obvious hygiene issues. Upon arriving and seeing the gratitude in the faces of these men who would soon experience death, all of my worries and phobias disappeared. At Kalighat (home for the dying), I sat on the edge of the bed of a man that looked like a holocaust victim. Tears began to stream down his hollowed face as I massaged his arms and legs. At first he was very tense but soon began to relax. He could not speak but his face communicated clearly his gratitude. The most sobering and challenging thing for me was the realization that this man likely did not know Jesus — that in just a matter of hours or days he would slip into eternity. I felt helpless and sad to know that most of these men would likely go into eternity without the knowledge that I had of a loving God who has prepared a place for me in heaven. This experience has marked me. I have a renewed sense of urgency to share the good news of Jesus with others. An experience like this will put life in perspective. I have no problems compared to the plight of these men.

Omar | We hope to bring three teams from Kingsland next year to serve at Mother Teresa’s homes. What advice would you give to those who will come to serve?

Doyle | Put your fears aside. Don’t worry about being grossed out or getting dirty. Trust me, you will get dirty; but in doing so, you will feel clean. Clean in the sense that this is the right thing to do. It is about being the feet and hands of Jesus to those who desperately need us. Prepare spiritually. Pray for God to mark your life and send you home with a renewed spirit and fervor to follow him in every aspect of your life.

Omar | Our travels took us from the bustling streets of Kolkata to the hills of Orissa, the state with one of the worst records of persecution of Christians in India. While there we were privileged to break ground for a new campus that Kingsland will build for the one-hundred boys we care for. How important is a Christian education for these boys who live daily with threats of violence from Hindu neighbors?

Doyle | Getting a Christian education is the key component for these young boys to become the future spiritual leaders and primary faith trainer for their children. It is so vital that they develop a biblical world view. It was inspiring to look into the faces of these boys and know that they are here for a purpose. I got the sense that they understood that they have been given a gift by being allowed to live and learn at the Diane Patterson Boarding School. The work that Kingsland has undertaken to support this ministry cannot be overstated. The construction of this facility will further support our purpose of equipping the generations, one home at a time.

Omar | You had an opportunity to speak to a pastor about the persecution in Orissa. What did you learn from this pastor?

Doyle | I was out taking pictures of the village and came across a pastor riding his bike. We talked about the persecution taking place against the Christian churches in the area. He shared with me that three of his deacons had been killed for carrying several Bibles to nearby village churches. As I prayed for this brother, it dawned on me that I had never really experienced true persecution for my faith. I learned that even in America, I too need to have a resolute confidence and maintain a steadfast obedience in God.

Omar | What issues are you struggling with as we return to our safe and comfortable community in the United States?

Doyle | This trip has been a life changing experience for me. There are at least two issues that come to mind. First, I have a greater awareness that I live in a world of excess. We live in a great community. Katy Texas is a wonderful place. My fear is that it may be too wonderful. Please do not misunderstand me. I am grateful and blessed to have such a nice home, fantastic schools and a church that is such a blessing to me and my family. I have been challenged to put things in focus and re-prioritize my life. After getting a glimpse of the polar opposite of Katy, I realize that my focus must turn more to the hurts and needs of others and less on my comfortable lifestyle. The second key issue I return home with is the urgency to share with others what I already have, to give of myself, to serve others and to simply ask others if they know Jesus as their Savior. Looking down into the face of a dying man who will soon enter eternity without a knowledge of who Jesus is has reminded me of the words of Jesus when he said “to whom much is given, much is required” (Luke 12:48). There is no doubt about it — I need to step it up!


  1. Omar,

    I am enjoyed to learning from your India trip. I am keeping reading them all, and trying learning from the blog pages. Thanks for the adventuring for God! and telling us, all the experiences that you had! You were very close to me.

    Thanks once again.


  2. Omar,

    I thank God for you—for your close walk with our Lord, for your scriptural knowledge, and for your zeal to spread the Gospel. May God always bless you and your family.

    Johnna Rhodes

  3. Johnna…

    Thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words. I am blessed to be able to serve the Lord with such a wonderful church family. I am grateful to be at Kingsland.


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